Trying to read 50 books in 2017. Will blog about the ones I like.
I know most authors consider four stars a bad review and three stars a terrible review, but the part of my brain that enjoys math and statistics rebels against this weird shifting of the curve. I got in the habit of using the stars as defined on GoodReads (a site I have since abandoned due to a distaste for the growing Amazon monopoly, but whose rating system still makes most sense to me *as described*, not as used).
Here are the ratings I give, in order of how commonly I give them:
Three stars - I liked it. This is my response to most of the books I can be enticed to read. I read it, I had a good time reading it, and then I moved on to other books but mostly didn't think about it again unless reminded. I'll mention it if someone is asking for recommendations in its specific subgenre. It's still on my eReader but I probably don't have a hard copy unless I know the author personally and/or I think the book is likely to be valuable someday. There's a good chance I'll buy the sequel in ePub format if I'm in a reading mood when it comes out.
Four stars - I really liked it. I will think of it sometimes when reading other books, or just randomly while cooking or driving, and I will think, "Gee, I should read that again sometime." I will enthusiastically recommend it to anyone who asks for recommendations in its genre. In addition to my ebook, I will probably buy a second copy of it to keep on my shelf, and if it's a hardcover first edition, I'll make an effort to get it signed. If I hear of an available sequel I will definitely read it.
Two stars - It was okay. I finished it, but it took a while. I'm not really why there was such good buzz about it, but whatever. It didn't actively offend me or anything. I won't really be inclined to spend money on more of this author's books, but if someone gave me another book of theirs as a gift I'd probably check it out. I'll delete it from my ebook library if I need space.
Five stars - I loved it. Oh my God. Have you READ this? I can't stop thinking about it. I jabbered to my husband for half an hour straight about it while he said "mm hm" and folded laundry. I quote it at people. My life will not be complete until I have a signed first edition. I follow the author on Twitter and read his/her blog (if applicable). I know when his/her next book is coming out (if applicable) and am squirming in my chair waiting. I pester everyone I know to read this book.
One star - I didn't like it. If I managed to finish it, it was only so I could feel justified in having an opinion. It's already gone from my ebook library. I wish I'd spent the time doing something other than reading this book, and I wouldn't read more of this author's work unless I was paid to do so.
All of these ratings are opinions, not efforts to accurately portray the quality or general popularity of the book. For example, Terry Pratchett is indisputably a rock star. For my particular tastes, though, Equal Rites was a delightful diversion and made me laugh out loud -- I even read some bits aloud to my husband -- but it disappeared from my head quickly after finishing, and I don't anticipate having a lovingly-dusted complete collection of Discworld books on my shelf anytime soon. That's just me; my deepest devotion tends to be to authors who write more emotional work.
The reason my good ratings outnumber my bad ones is that I often don't finish books that don't pull me in, and I don't feel justified in rating a book unless I've read it in its entirety.
Hope that clears things up, and you're not insulted if I didn't give you a five-star review.